Spies, Spy 100 Project

My Latest Mad Scheme

December 29, 2009

While Christmas shopping before our vacation travels, I stumbled across a one-shot magazine from American History titled 100 Greatest Spy Movies and thought it would make for great airplane reading material.  My copy of this “special collector’s edition” magazine is already beat up, dog-earred and scribbled on.  I love spy movies (as if you haven’t guessed!) and this list of films (plus a few mini-series) made me nostalgic to see some of my favorites again, as well as introducing me to a number of titles I’d never even heard of.

Obsessive that I am, I just added as many of these films as I could locate to my Netflix queue — sadly, sixteen were unavailable, pretty much skewering my plan to review them in reverse/countdown order.  Even so, I decided I’d go ahead with the project as a happy excuse to watch and re-watch some of my favorite genre films.  I’ll probably start this next month and work on it gradually (over the next few years, I expect), tagging the posts with a “Spy 100” sub-category.  So, stay tuned!  Or, you know, if you hate spy movies, change the channel, I suppose!

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  • Steven Klotz January 5, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Ah … catching up with journals in reverse chronological order reveals answers to questions seemingly posed later.

    I look forward to reading your reviews and maybe even watching some of those with you.

  • Philip Brewer January 9, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Since the list of Top 100 spy movies you’re using is in a print publication, I can’t just check for myself. So, I wanted to make sure that your list includes the 1981 spy movie “The Amateur.”

    Based on Robert Littell’s excellent book, it’s one of my top-5 spy movies, but strangely underrated. It’s good in several ways, in particular excellent use of an “ordinary man” as the hero. I also like the backstory of pencil-and-paper ciphers used by the agents–it’s much more accurate than you usually get in fiction (although that may be more in the book than the movie).

    Anyway, I’m curious to know if that movie is on your list.

  • Chris January 9, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Actually it’s not on the list! But I have added it to my Netflix queue. I’ve posted the full list here in my review archive, so you can see what’s on it.

    At a quick look, I’m already disagreeing with some inclusions and omissions on the list, but I figure that’s just the nature of these types of lists — more to promote discussion than anything else.

    I tried reading a Littell novel once but couldn’t get into it — can’t remember what it was called, it wasn’t “The Amateur” though. (I believe the miniseries “The Company” from the list is a Littell adaptation.)